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Next to Last Words


96 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / no illustrations


  Paperback / 9780807150221 / April 2013

For sixty years Daniel Hoffman has drawn on a lifetime of experiences to engage readers with his powerful imagination. The poems in Next to Last Words—illuminated by the poet’s unique vision and leavened by touches of humor—continue this tradition. Equally skilled in formal and free verse, Hoffman explores our place in the cosmos, our kinship with nature, the violent world in which we must live, and the intense love and grief common to everyone’s life.

Former poet laureate, Daniel Hoffman (1923—2013) published fourteen books of poetry, including The Whole Nine Yards, Beyond Silence, and Brotherly Love, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His honors include the Arthur Anse prize for “a distinctive poet” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and, from the Sewanee Review, the Aiken-Taylor Award for Contemporary American Poetry. He was the author of many critical studies, including Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, also a National Book Award finalist. He taught at Swarthmore College and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Felix Schelling Professor of English Emeritus.

Praise for Former Poet Laureate Daniel Hoffman

“It’s one thing to know of a poet and know that he’s good, another to see the fruits of five and a half decades gathered, culled, and thoughtfully arranged—to see that he’s been this good for this long.”— Eric McHenry, New York Times

“There is certainly no quenching Hoffman’s gift for insights, nor any lack of admiration for the lovely vessels in which he delivers them.”— Susan Balée, Philadelphia Inquirer
“Erudite and neighborly, formally adroit even in the occasional free-verse poem, Hoffman is an indispensable American poet.”—Ray Olson, Booklist (starred review)
“I am delighted—and suddenly shocked—by the skill, beauty, and authenticity of these poems. Hoffman is nothing less than a master.”—Gerald Stern
“Daniel Hoffman takes his place in the line of Yeats, Graves, and Muir, poets who plumb the depths of myth beneath the contingencies of history. . . . He has become one of our most jubilant makers.”—Edward Hirsch
“Daniel Hoffman is an exemplar of our poetic generation. There is a lifetime of wisdom and sensibility in these lines, a generosity of spirit that shines through and illuminates his lovely new book.”—Carolyn Kizer

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